Exploring Tourism in Iceland
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South Iceland, Iceland

Nauthúsgil (“Bull Shed Ravine”), which lies under the Eyjafjöll volcano, probably derives its name from an original building of a bull shed from the farm Stóru-Mörk. Back then bulls were put out to pasture along with other non-milking stock. An outlying farm called Nauthús was later built, but abandoned in 1770. Nauthúsagil is known for the rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) that grows on its ridge and whose multiple trunks lean over the ravine, some almost horizontally. It’s an impressive sight, especially when the tree is in full bloom. Frequently, the sheep gather close to the roots, providing the rowan with fertilisation. The wood is said to be holy and it is considered bad luck to cut it. The rowan’s exact age is unknown. When its main trunk broke in 1937, the trunk and the biggest branches were cut down and carried off on eight-horse carriages. Part of the trunk is now on display at the Skógar Folk Museum and when analysed, it turned out to have been over 90 years old when it broke.

Although the ravine is deep and narrow, you can walk along the river while keeping your feet relatively dry. Walk along the ravine until you come to a 2-3 metre high waterfall. You can climb the rock beside it if you want to. If you continue on your way, you come to a yet larger waterfall which is a sight to behold. You can also walk along the western edge of the ravine where you have a good view of the ravine and a third, beautifully shaped waterfall. You can also enjoy the sight of the Markarfljót catchment area, Stóri-Dímon and Fljótshlíð.

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